IMAGES OF SANITY AND COMPASSION
IN TIBETAN BUDDHISM

Buddha Amitayus
Introduction

Archetypes of Enlightenment

Living Buddhas

Mandalas: Homes of the Buddhas

DHARMA HAVEN'S TIBETAN PAGES






 

INTRODUCTION

When Lord Sakyamuni realized the truth of his own nature, 2500 years ago, he revealed a new possibility for human beings. By his awakening he demonstrated that all of us are inseparably linked to basic goodness, sanity and compassion.

In the Tibetan language, spiritual teachers and masters of meditation are called 'lama.' Until recently, Western scholars believed that nearly all Tibetans worshiped these teachers, and called the Tibetan religion 'lamaism.' To Western theistic missionaries, witnessing people offering prostrations to the lamas, this was a natural conclusion.

The missionaries were mistaken, however. Lord Buddha told his students that it was a mistake to worship either him or anything else, and the Tibetan people understand and respect this teaching.  By living as a human being who has awakened from the unnecessary suffering caused by conflicting emotions and primative beliefs about reality, Buddha offered himself as a mirror of the student's true nature.

Tibetan Buddhists use a host of different images of awakened mind, to remind themselves that wakeing up is the real purpose of human life, to help them understand the many facets of awakening, and to bring into their lives and the lives of their neighbors the blessings these images convey. 

On these pages we celebrate abstract or archetypal images of various aspects of Buddha Nature, images of Living Buddhas -- the awakened masters, and images of mandalas, the sacred environments of the Buddhas.


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ARCHETYPES OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Buddha Sakyamuni

Tara

Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara)

Medicine Buddha Sangye Menla

Web Sites with Many Images

Mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas

Mahakala and the Protectors

Amitayus Buddha Empowerment

Buddhist Images Reference (Tara & Co.)
Female Buddhas and Bodisattvas


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LIVING BUDDHAS

Buddha taught that each of us has the same intrinsic nature, leading eventually to complete, perfect enlightenment. Yet some Buddhist cultures believe that no one has actually attained enlightenment for hundreds of years -- the teachings and meditation practices are kept alive so that they will be available when someone who is ready to understand them is born. Tibetans, however, believe that there are many enlightened meditation masters alive right now, and that more and more are being born in this, the darkest hour of the dark age, when materialism has nearly triumphed over sanity and compassion.

Many Tibetan meditation masters are associated with centers for practice and study, many of these centers have Web sites, and most of these Web sites have pictures of the teachers. Dharma Haven's Tibetan Buddhist Centers page offers links to these Web sites. Viewing a picture of an enlightened teacher is said to bring inconceivable benefits of many sorts.

The following Web sites offer images of many Tibetan Buddhist teachers.

Teachers' Biographies and Portraits Compiled by Lama Surya Das
 


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MANDALAS: HOMES OF THE BUDDHAS
Mandala of the Medicine Buddha

Mandala: Buddhist Tantric Diagrams

Kalachalra Mandala with 
Commentary by the Dalai Lama

Mandala Theory

The Cosmic Mandala

Vajrayogini Dakini Mandala

Clare Goodwin's Mandala Page

Structure and Symbols in Tibetan Mandalas

Web Sites with many Mandala Images

Mandala of Samsara: The Wheel of Life

Construction of a Sand Mandala:
Mandala of Hayagriva

Images and 3D Computer Model
Mandala of Vajrabhairava

Amitayus Buddha Empowerment


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Revised on June 22, 1999

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